PR Rep/Blogger Spotlight: Angela Mastrogiacomo
Have you ever been so inspired by something that you decided to dedicate your life to it? Well, music industry swiss army knife Angela Mastrogiacomo has! From music fan to inspired music blogger to PR rep to music event curator, Angela has seen everything this industry has to offer, and now she uses that experience to help musicians all over the world!
For Angela Mastrogiacomo, working in the music industry is a labor of love. She turned her passion for music into a blog, Infectious Magazine. The contacts and knowledge she gained from that experience, combined with the dirty paws of her dog Sawyer, inspired her to start Muddy Paw PR.
To learn more about Angela, her experience as a PR rep, or what a PR rep can do for you as a musician, check out the interview we did with her below 🙂
Panoplay: Hi, I’m Angela and I ____________
Angela: am the owner of Muddy Paw PR, music blog Infectious Magazine, and the curator of Balanced Breakfast chapters in Boston and Toronto. When I’m not hanging out with my munsterlander pup Sawyer, I can be found eating ice cream and catching up on Friday Night Lights. (I’m about a decade behind with that show but, better late than never right?)
Panoplay: How did you get into the music industry?
Angela: It was pretty serendipitous. In 2009 I stumbled across a band called The Coming Weak, and at the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, it changed my life. I felt so compelled by their energy, their talent, and their stage presence that out of nowhere I got the idea to interview them. Of course, I’d need a place to house that, so I started Infectious in 2009, and 5 years later, armed with all that experience, a strong network, and the same passion for elevating artist’s careers that I had when Infectious launched, I started public relations company Muddy Paw PR.
Panoplay: You are first and foremost a PR rep – running your own PR company called Muddy Paw PR. Can you explain that for people who may not know exactly what a PR company/rep does?
Angela: Sure! One of my favorite sayings is that PR is a marathon, not a sprint, and that couldn’t be more truthful. The goal of a publicist is to get your band’s name into the eyes and ears of industry professionals—be it bloggers, labels, festivals, etc, and that takes time. The way we do that is through press releases and personalized outreach introducing your band to various blogs, seeking album reviews, interviews, guest blogs, etc. Our goal is to begin to build your digital footprint, and make your name (and your music) heard.
Panoplay: How has Muddy Paw PR evolved since it began 2 years ago?
Angela: Great question! At 2 years old, we’re still a fairly young company, and we’re still growing. However, over the last two years we’ve gone from being a one-woman-show, to having a great team that’s comprised of amazing interns and publicists—and we’re still growing. We’ve continued to develop our relationships with the media, and really define our brand to what it is today—a passionate, creative, think-outside-the-box kind of company, that has a strong respect for one other. I always call our artists family, and I truly mean that. We are one another’s family.
Panoplay: What makes Muddy Paw PR different than other PR firms?
Angela: I’m a strong believer that you have to click with your publicist. It’s not enough to respect the work they’ve done, you have to feel like they get you and you get them—that’s important when hiring any team member. So in that sense, I don’t really believe in competition between publicists. That being said, one of the main things that makes Muddy Paw stand out is our individualized attention to our artists and their specific needs. Although we do mass press releases for major announcements, we also take the time to handpick outlets that we feel our artist’s music and message will connect with, and reach out to them personally. If there are submission guidelines on the site, we’re following them. We’re going to address the person that we’re reaching out to by name, because they’re the only person getting that specific, individualized email. We aren’t emailing 20 people the same thing at the same time hoping someone responds. As a blogger first, I understand the importance of personal relationships in the industry, and the respect you should have when approaching journalists, and I take that experience to our operations at Muddy Paw.
Panoplay: Let’s go a bit more in depth on this. As a musician, when is the right time to reach out to someone like yourself for PR?
Angela: The right time to begin considering PR is when you have something new to promote. Most PR companies, Muddy Paw included, will want to start campaigns around album or EP releases 6-8 weeks prior to the release date, so it’s important to have all that material finalized (masters of the songs, album artwork, etc) in hand at least 2.5-3 months ahead of your release date, and to begin reaching out to PR companies at that time. For singles or music videos, we like to start a few weeks prior to release, in order to allow time to secure a premiere for the track or video, so in that case, you’d want to get in touch about a month in advance. I’d rather an artist reach out too early and have to be told to circle back in X months, than to reach out 2 weeks before their album drops and have to turn them away.
Panoplay: Going off that, how exactly does a company like Muddy Paw PR help these starting artists?
Angela: In addition to offering them exposure via the releases we send out, or securing coverage around their music, we work closely with the artist to help them shape and define who they are and what it is they’re trying to say, because as it turns out, a lot of artists don’t really know. We’ve worked with some artists who are 100% sure of who they are, and are just killing it in spreading their message and in those instances, we’re pretty hands off with any artist development. We’re not interested in changing who you are as an artist, but we are interested in helping you define who you are, if that’s something you struggle with. The more we know about your core beliefs and values, the better story we can craft.
Panoplay: What’s been your most memorable experience working in the music industry?
Angela: I’ve had a few surreal moments. Getting to see artists be truly appreciative and excited about the coverage they’re receiving is always the most rewarding thing. Believe it or not, this is a largely thankless job, so if you’re happy about the coverage you’re receiving and the countless hours your publicist is putting in to your campaign (and believe me, they are putting in more work than you know) then tell them!
Another really cool opportunity was getting to meet and interview some of my favorite artists for Infectious—Anberlin, Frank Turner, HIM, and Andrew McMahon. Getting to just sit down and chat with them was pretty humbling.
Panoplay: What are your long term goals with Muddy Paw PR?
Angela: Growth, evolution, and impact. I want to create a company that is known for not only taking care of our artists and getting them great placements, but to be known as a pillar of creativity and strength within the community. We are a team of young, passionate, determined music enthusiasts, and everything we plan for our future will reflect that.
Panoplay: You also help run a music industry community called Balanced Breakfast – can you tell us about that (and also mention how to get involved, maybe?)
Angela: Yes! Balanced Breakfast is one of my true loves. I stumbled upon it when I moved to San Francisco 2 years back, and instantly fell in love. It’s a community of musicians and industry professionals who get together to talk shop, discuss making money within the industry, and support one another’s dreams. I always say it’s a group of friends first and a networking group second, and that’s what makes it so powerful. It currently operates in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Nashville, Austin, Boston, Toronto, and a few more cities across North America. You can check it out HERE. Shoot me an email if you’d like to get involved, and I’ll point you in the right direction. (email@example.com)
Panoplay: Any final words of wisdom?
Angela: Thanks so much for having me! If you’re an artist looking for PR or an aspiring blogger or publicist, please get in touch. This is what I love doing, and I would be honored to get to know you. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram at @Angela_Mastro. Warning for the hungry: My Instagram is filled with tasty food photos.